Journalist, Writer

Vax sentiment

COVID-19 booster vaccine

I am only going to be using the official name of COVID-19 on this blog. 

I have been vaccinated for a third time against this coronavirus strain.

I booked a booster shot after a slight impediment to my face post the second vaccine (read earlier and see if you can piece it together as I write) because I was getting irritated wearing the face mask so I decided to take extra pre caution in the hope restrictions might ease.

Proof of booster shots are not currently mandatory for the general Australian citizen although this is still in question and already there is discussion of a fourth vaccine in progress.

Whilst vaccination for COVID-19 remains voluntary the Australian Government Department of Health statistics show that 95% over Australians aged over 16 years are vaccinated. 

Rises in these numbers are due to the fact that workers are required to provide proof of vaccination to continue working on site, unless they have a medical exemption, even though the default vaccine setting remains voluntary. 

Basically if you want to continue to work you might have to prove you are vaccinated, even though you could live your life in Australia without being mandated to vax – it’s just that if you selected this choice you might not be able to attend your place of work. 

It is unheard of me to use ‘x’ and slangify a word, I really detest that as a practice and strictly never do it, however just this once I thought it made light of the vax situation and what has turned out to be not a particularly amusing topic in my situation.

What I am getting at here is that early on in the pandemic there were anti-vaxxers voicing opinions but this has subsided substantially. The facts show only 5% of the population remain without a vax but there could be a variety of reasons for this, not just the suggestion that they are anti.

The reason I thought I would delve into this concept of anti-vax sentiment was that a week after the second vaccine shot I accidentally ‘tapped’ my face inadvertently with an object. It was a split second, but one of those defining shocking moments where things took a drastic turn in my life. Blame it on the working from home trend during the pandemic, the ongoing lockdowns and general malaise. It got me thinking about on what grounds could you be an anti-vaxxer and is that the same thing as a voluntary vax.

Things like freedom of speech, my body my choice, the right to protest are starting points but is being an anti-vaxxer actually allowed.

The information is out there if you are determined to be an anti-vaxxer but it comes with an incentive, could be one of way describing it, trade off, bribe or sweetener. 

The Australian Human Rights Commission tosses around the issue of federal discrimination law, digest that as, does that mean are you allowed to discriminate against me if I choose to be an anti-vaxxer.

The commission clarifies that vaccination is voluntary, but the aim is for most Australians to be vaccinated and the states are the authority that issue the public health orders for certain industries or workers.

This is certainly the case in Victoria where the Department of Health has split workers into groups with certain types of professions requiring proof of vaccination to continue working. They specify the dose quantity requirements for each type of worker. Either two vaccines or three vaccines, at this stage, and they define the worker types by broad profession category. You determine your profession and check if you are on the list and which dose group you have been allocated.

I guess you can be an anti-vaxxer but the ultimate decision depends on whether you want to have a job, because you might find being an anti-vaxxer is going to get in the way of that opportunity.